How to Use Calcium Hypochlorite in a Swimming Pool

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A pool is a great addition to a home, and regular maintenance will keep the water in prime condition for swimming. Chlorine is the most common disinfectant used in swimming pools, but it is highly toxic in its elemental form. For safe handling, various compounds are used instead. Calcium hypochlorite comes in granular or pellet-sized form and provides 65 percent available chlorine.

  • Pull a water sample from your pool. Have this tested by your local pool supply retailer or purchase a test kit to do it yourself. The retailer can provide a detailed computer analysis with a breakdown of chemicals that must be added.

  • Liquid chlorine must be added by pouring around the perimeter of the pool or directly in front of the return jets. Granular chlorine is scattered evenly around the pool. Chlorine degrades rapidly under direct sunlight. Add in the late afternoon or evening for best results.

  • Shock treat your pool on a weekly basis to force the chlorine level past the break point. The amount of calcium hypochlorite needed depends on the level of organic material and free chlorine in the pool. Expect a minimum dose of 1 lb. per 10,000 gallons.

  • Check your water weekly for all chemical levels to maintain optimum cleanliness and clarity. Maintain a floater with chlorine tablets at all times. Add liquid chlorine as indicated by testing.

Tips & Warnings

  • The desired level of free chlorine residual must range between 1 and 3 ppm.
  • Wait a minimum of 24 hours before swimming after a shock treatment. Allow two to three hours time after liquid chlorine addition for the chemical to circulate completely.
  • Check your calcium hypochlorite for the percentage of chemical. If it's under 50 percent, it's safe to enter the water immediately after application. A higher potency can affect sensitive individuals, so it's best to give the chemical two to three hours to circulate.
  • Any chlorine or calcium compound added to the pool raises the pH level. Counter this by adding muriatic acid. A pool retailer can supply a detailed computer analysis based on a water sample.

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